The Primal Parent

Credence to the Paleo Movement – Bad Press, 500 Blogs, and the Paleo Magazine


The modern world has corrupted our food supply and our food intuition.

Evolution doesn’t like this very much. That’s why we’re so sick in body and in mind these days. While most people seem pretty content to trade health and happiness with yummy tasting foods (or non-foods as I like to call them), a whole lot of others are questioning the validity of eating all their meals out of plastic containers only to wash it down with pills out of plastic bottles.

So, they head off to the Internet in search of answers. A Google search on a healthy diet yields the usual suspect:

1. the vegetarian diet. Change is always exciting but after a while of limiting meat and not seeing much of any benefit at all, they start to wonder (with a little nudge from rising awareness) if all the added breads, pastas, and other wheat products aren’t the culprit. Moving on, they decide to try out the diet everyone is talking about:

2. the gluten-free diet. They trade gluten grains for rice, beans, oatmeal, and the plethora of gluten-free alternatives. Their digestion is still a mess, they haven’t lost any weight, and the depression hasn’t lifted. Even if they were sensitive to gluten, they still feel terrible and assume gluten has nothing to do with it. So, back to the Internet now to narrow the problem down to red meat and saturated fat. With hopes of losing the weight they gained while scarfing down the almost, but not quite, tasty gluten-free snacks, it’s time to test out the tried and true:

3. low fat diet. Eating salads, chicken breast, and rice they drool over their friend’s plates and sneak little bites of forbidden foods. Week in week out they fail and miss their goals (because eating low fat is like abstaining from sex when a whole bunch of good looking, naked people prance around in front of you). They become more depressed and nervous and so they figure out a way to add some fun back in by:

4. counting calories. Finally at liberty to use ranch dressing instead of lemon juice, potato chips instead of saltines as they don’t exceed 1700 calories per day, they still aren’t getting jack for nutrition. They’re still depressed. They’ve lost a little weight but they’re not really cut like they so desire. Back to the Internets, they determine it was junk food slowing them down so they try the diet all their indie friends are into:

5. the raw vegan diet. This one actually tastes great and feels amazing too. They quickly pump themselves full of agave syrup and fruit sugar and feel great! Eventually, though, energy wanes. The cells start to dry out from the lack of saturated fats, the insulin plummets at shorter and shorter intervals, and muscles start consuming themselves from lack of protein. Emaciated, they amble back to the Internet craving meat and fat. Sitting at the desk with a bag of potato chips and other empty high-fat snacks, they enter search terms like “how much fat does a person need?” and “is saturated fat bad for you?” Finally they stumble upon the low carb diet and then finally:

6. the Primal eating strategy. They start eating as much as they want, when they want, and they’re eating all the fat they’ve restricted for the last 1 to 10 years. Within only a few weeks they’ve become tolerant again, hopeful, energetic, and stronger than ever. It seems this diet fuels itself with no extra effort required. Finally, satisfaction and results.

If you think about it, it’s kind of obvious that we shouldn’t be eating anything that you can’t pick or kill with a stick, but the world has replaced million year old tradition with lab-created/altered food variants. While these non-foods do manage to go in one hole and out the other without laying us flat in seconds, they are the cause of so many premature and miserable deaths. People are starting to realize it and it is because of this that:

The Paleo movement is growing!

Transitions like those described above are starting to happen to people all over the country (and, indeed, the world). People tell their friends and those people tell theirs. The word is spreading that there is a better way. And it’s happening rather fast. Just 7 or so years ago Dr. Loren Cordain’s, The Paleo Diet, came out. That was about all there was on the subject at the time but now there is a shelf of books dedicated to the subject, hundreds of blogs documenting progress and promoting the movement, and even a host of money driven fools getting angry with their tenuous grasp on the ill health that pads their wallets.

Bad Press

J. Stanton recently noted that Paleo has reached “the ominous stage 3” in the growth of a movement. (If you haven’t read this article, read it. It is rad.)

  • People who are addicted to sweet, starchy, and chemical laden foods get angry with those of us who claim they’re bad because they don’t want to have to give them up.
  • People who have suffered a life time of health problems get angry at the idea that they’ve been doing things wrong their whole lives.
  • Associations and agencies who have misled the American public for decades are threatened by our success with a totally opposite approach. They have to admit that they were wrong and that their advice was the cause of the death and misery of millions.
  • Drug companies and agriculturists will lash out against us as they lose their tenuous grasp on the drug and junk food industry. As everyone recovers from illnesses through the avoidance of snack foods, they go broke.

A lot of people have a lot of reasons to fight against us. And fight they do. This is a good sign. While it will, indeed, make the fight harder for us (especially parents), it is proof that we’re on to something here. When all the money grubbing, self-interested entities hate us, we must be doing something right.

500 Blogs and 10,000 anecdotes

The Primal Toad is constantly adding to an unbelievably long list of Paleo bloggers. There are over 500 paleo blogs on his list. No that wasn’t a typo! There really are 500 paleo bloggers out there documenting their long-term success with the primal diet and lifestyle strategy. Just think how many more there are who aren’t writing about it (think commenters) – hundreds of thousands. Mark Sisson told me that he has over 10,000 visits per day to his blog. Yeah, Paleo is no joke.

People are actually getting well and paleo children are growing strong.

The older and healthier these new paleo kids get, the easier it is for people to believe in it. Kids who grow healthier and calmer on the paleo diet than their friends on the standard American diet help support the movement.

My own daughter is 5 years old and she’s just about the easiest kid you could get. How many moms can say that about their kids? She’s tall, thin, active, good natured, never ever sick (we haven’t even bothered with a family doctor all her life), her teeth are straight, she is and always has been a good sleeper, she’s talented, kind, helpful, independent, smart, motivated, she poos every day… Need I go on? I mean I could if you want me to. I’m not just a mom bragging about my kid here (all our kids are angels!). It’s just that she’s paleo and I have very little to complain about (except that she doesn’t like learning Spanish. That does bug me, but I digress).

The point is, there are a lot of kids growing up this way and there are a lot of parents who have it easy because of it. Parenting is easy when you’re a Primal Parent and people are starting to see it. When people see me playing like a kid in the park with my daughter, (I look like I’m about 24 but I’m 33) they ask about our secret. Why is my daughter so well behaved; why am I so youthful? I direct them to the blogs, the books, the curated online collections like The Paleo Times and, and the new Paleo Magazine.

The Paleo Magazine helps spread the word offline!

The leaders of the Paleo movement have come together to contribute the first ever magazine devoted to the Primal lifestyle and diet. If you haven’t already, you should check out the mag. Not only is it beautiful but it is chalk full of expert articles and tidbits of useful info.

Articles range in topics from how and why to go Paleo (David Csonka), to how to exercise more like a primal person. You will find recipes by The Primal Palate and Sarah Fragoso, body care advice by CaveGirlEats, as well as reader success stories. There are a couple of doctors and nutritionists on board who offer their own research and experience with high fat diets and medical conditions such as celiac disease. Plus, in each issue is the Paleo Kids section with topics ranging from how to get your kids to go Paleo, favorite kid foods, and other primal tips, written each issue by none other than yours truly! (Check out the contributors page for more info on each writer and expert.)

The Primal Parent is a columnist for Paleo Magazine!

You can sign up for a subscription on their website. After you’ve read it through, if you can stand to part with it, pass it around to all your friends and show them that this crazy diet of yours isn’t so crazy after all. It’s big, it’s sensible, and it works!

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  1. Congratulations on becoming a contributor!

    I had a dream last night actually about hosting a real nutrition seminar at my work and giving a speech on the paleo diet to a room full of coworkers. :)

    I really hope the movement does take off. I’m still skeptical that it will happen, because as you pointed out the USDA would then have to admit they were wrong.

    Gluten free is certainly getting more recognition, but I feel it gets recognition in the wrong way by these companies who now sell GF junk food at much higher prices than the food it replaces.

    Atkins also has a bad reputation overall, and many people still associate low carb diets to Atkins.

    As you said, we just need to be the role models.
    And 500 paleo blogs wow! I wouldn’t have guessed there were that many.
    But something is going on in my town, because the Whole Foods around here are always sold out of full fat coconut milk. :)

  2. Thanks Daria! I’ve been writing the kids section since issue 1, so check out back issues (not that there are any yet, lol).

    You know, I don’t really think the Paleo diet is going to come around and save the world. I don’t believe that at all and I tried to be careful not to allude it. J. Stanton at does seem to think so, however.

    I don’t really have an opinion about it because it’s really impossible to say for sure. But it seems to me that the human race is going to drown at some point in its own adipose tissue. Oh well, I say. The cool thing is that if the Paleo movement grows, then we have more friends to hang out with. :) I’m definitely not here to save the world, because I don’t think it can be saved. I’m just here to help out a few people who are trying to save themselves.

    I don’t think “hope” is about the world being saved. I think we should accept that we are out of control as a species. It’s fine. That’s the path nature is taking with us. “Hope” is a bit narrower to me. I have “hope” that each of us as individuals can figure out ways to skirt around all the mess the rest of the world leaves. And there is hope for that, as long as we all keep trying.

    I read a super interesting mathematics paper the other day about population growth. Mathematical models show that world population is going to level off around 8 billion people. We’re not actually going to consume the whole entire planet with infinite nastiness.

    So for those that are holding out hope for world peace and happiness, there just might be a chance! (I’ll see if I can locate that paper again. It was pretty cool.)

  3. This is a great article!! I have been so impressed with the Primal/Paleo movement!! During my second pregnancy (with my second son) I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and thus began my research into low carb and eventually with a lot of reading on my husband’s part…or change to the Primal life!! I lost my pregnancy weight so easily, i was able to control my gestational diabetes and my son came out weight a nice 7lbs 10 oz. I laugh every time I take him into the pediatricians office, he has always been less than the 5th percentile in weight, he is of normal height…my lean little man sits at about 20 lbs at 17 months old, but that kid could eat a 1/4 cow in one sitting!! Super active little boy and way laid back!! Sleeps great, and he too poops everyday!! Its really amazing what a well oiled machine his body is!!

    Now I find myself pregnant with my third baby…this time we got knocked up on the first try (where as it took 4 months with my first, and 6 months & 2 miscarriages with my second) I am pretty darn sure that my ease with fertility this time around is because of our Primal life!! And even if I am diagnosed with gestational diabetes again…I know what to do…its easy, just eat and live like we have been!

    We have a very happy Primal Family! Thanks for a great article on the movement!

    • You have been through the wringer haven’t you, Joanne? And now your family is happy and healthy. How trite. I’m just kidding! But it’s true, is’t it? We suffer our whole lives until things get really bad, we end up here, cut out the crap, the grains, and sugar and miraculously, we’re fine. But it’s not a miracle is it? Just evolution…

      Thanks so much for sharing about your healthy primal son!

  4. I am so excited that the paleo movement is really starting to take off!

    I’m skeptical that it will ever really be mainstream since it doesn’t profit big agriculture or big pharma but I’m hopfull.

    • I’m skeptical too, Kara. Unless someone can figure out some way to profit from it, it will always be underground. But then any kind of profit scheme would inevitably corrupt its foundation and true motive. Look at the gluten free movement, what a joke that has become. But that’s ok, it’s cool to be underground, right?

  5. yay!!!! a paleo magazine? i’m in fully in!

  6. Thanks for the mention Peggy!

    It has been a VERY long since I have updated that blog list as well as my other community lists. I’ll hopefully get to it this weekend. I want to organize the list into categories. Some blogs just have recipes, some are crossfit and some are personal journeys.

    I LOVE the paleo magazine. It’s awesome. I am lucky enough to say that I am a contributor for the second issue. I can’t wait to see it!

    I personally do believe the primal lifestyle will go mainstream. When you think about it… none of us are strict about it. I may still want to enjoy a slice of deep dish pizza in Chicago. I am fine with white rice in sushi rolls.

    I still enjoy ice cream once in a blue moon.

    So those other foods will still exist. I just believe that every so slowly the junk foods will be replaced with healthier foods. It is going to take time for that to happen but it will.

    There is way too much going on within the primal community to not have it go mainstream. And, I plan on traveling for the next 5-10 reasons with the sole purpose of spreading the lifestyle and bringing the community closer together.

    Primal Con changed my life completely. It was incredible being with 80 cavemen for 4 days. Absolutely incredible. I met incredible life long friends.

    I want to bring that experience to every city around the world. We can do this through meetup groups. It will take time but it will happen.

    And its more than just diet too. People already starting to find out the importance of sunlight. And, people love the idea of more play and less work. I am testing this with my business…

    I could go on and on but I think I will stop here. Great website Peggy! I will be back again soon :)

    • Great point Todd. Reaping the benefits of Paleo is possible (for most people) just by going mostly Paleo. Those of us recovering from disease really need to be strict but most people are cool with a mostly Paleo diet – and you’re right, THAT is possible.

      The movement really could take off if people realized that even a change in the direction of Paleo is all their bodies need to avoid most modern diseases.

      I’m glad you’re working so hard to spread the Paleo message. The community needs more young, idealistic guys like you!

  7. A magazine, huh? I wonder how long it’ll take before advertisers and hyper-idealists take it over and turn it into something unrecognizable, like the eco-greenie-weenies and advertisers did to Mother Earth News?

    That magazine USED TO BE enjoyable to read. Now it’s a liberal ad rag for alternative energy.

    Another magazine that quickly turned into a joke is Simple Times–it got Martha Stewart-ized, and made frugal living an expensive and highly-polished foray on paper.

    If this Paleo magazine ends up being mostly ads, it won’t be worth anybody’s time, even if it[‘s available for smart phones and Kindle. As for me, I’ll take my Paleo raw…as in news articles, blog articles, and forums.

  8. Feeling hopeful and energetic, with a diet that fuels itself – yes! So well put.

  9. Awesome Peggy! Although it was a little hard for me to read when I got to the part about Agriculturalists “lashing out” because they will lose money. I’ve just recently started eating and exercising primally, and we depend SO MUCH on veggies!! We have to get these from somewhere! Really, without agriculture (big or small, organic or not) we would hurt.
    I had absolutely no problem starting to eat and live this way physically, but mentally/morally it was really difficult for me. I live in eastern Washington State, where Ag is EVERYTHING. I worked my way through college in a greenhouse growing peas, lentils, and chickpeas (none of which I eat now), and my husband was previously employed teaching AgSci classes at the university. While neither of us is currently employed in Ag (I stay home, he teaches Ecology), we still have strong ties to that community, and live in one of the largest wheat producing regions in the country. Luckily, I still feel I can support our local industry by buying onions (yay for Walla Walla Sweets!), strawberries, cucumbers, etc. I really don’t think that everyone in agriculture is a “money grubbing, self-interested entity”, but really people whos families have been supported for generations on exactly what the USDA has told us is healthy. I can see why a change to Primal living is something hard for so many to swallow.
    On a brighter note, I totally thought of your last post this weekend. My husbands cousin was feeding her BABY (he’s just under a year) chocolate covered graham crackers and licorice sticks. It made me sick. My husband kept looking over at me making sure I was staying calm…I wonder out she would do combating my “inside” influence. :)

  10. Well-merited congratulations for your columnist spot in the new Paleo Magazine…I am a recent (two-months) convert to this lifestyle..which affirms its health-restorative benefits to me with every single day! Thank you for providing us all with your vast knowledge and keen desire to SHARE your enriching experiences, which help be better-informed Paleo “disciples”…or adherents at any rate!! One question….Is it possible to order the magazine internationally (from France)?! Thank you again…

  11. Hey Peggy, another great post, and I loved all the comments as well from everyone. I don’t think eating Primal will save the world, but I think that people who want to save themselves will find their way to it. Also, people are getting sicker and sicker with each generation, so something has to give right? Will we really allow the norm to be for our children to be diabetics? I think things are starting to get critical, and people are looking for a way out. Awareness is growing, like you say, and people are looking for answers. Eventually, there will be a chasm? It will be blatantly obvious as the years pass that the people who eat SAD are sick and their children are sick, and those who eat primal are healing from 10,000 years of damage fairly quickly, and birthing healthy, robust (I know WAPF likes to use that word – it’s a good word :D ) children. Eventually, some of these children might become politicians ;) . It wont happen tomorrow, but as more and more people become primal, changes will happen, it’s impossible not to. While we are doing this for ourselves now, it’s obvious to me that we are moving towards something bigger for tomorrow. Maybe the SAD eaters will die out, who knows. I’m sorry, that wasn’t nice, but there, I said it.

    • I’d have to agree…

      While most everyone has covered my thoughts already (awesome post, awesome discussion!) I will say that I think social media – as much as I used to scoff at it – is going to be the changing force in accountability and TRUTH for the developed world. It’s how we spread the word and rebut articles that, for example, list Paleo as the worst diet of a list of TRULY bad diets; and it’s how I heard about Paleo magazine in the first place! I don’t think we even know where social media will leave the Ag and Pharm interests. I can’t wait to see it play out! Word travels too fast for a well-orchestrated cover-up :)

  12. I love the humor in the first part of this article. I’m actually working on a post that goes over some popular diets as well–just from my humble viewpoint. I really like way you wrote it out though…like this is why people feel sick on this diet, and this is why they feel sick on that diet…

    Congrats on being a contributer! I love the way you write.

  13. Wenhypoo,

    Of course ;( It’s true. That’s the way of things in capitalist America.

    Thanks, Karen!


    Thanks for the input. All agriculture is not bad, no. I’m thinking big business here, you know – grains mostly. Your little scenario last weekend resonates with me too. My boyfriend would be holding my hand throughout that for sure!


    It makes me so happy to see so many new converts here. You don’t see them in everyday life too much, you know. :)

    I asked paleo mag your question on twitter but I don’t think he replied so I’ll send him an email and let you know.


    I have wondered that myself. Once things get bad enough, will people start searching harder for answers? Is there a critical point? And by the way, I love what you said. It was cynical but true, um ok, I said it too. I’m going to take a moment to rant here. I am not too happy with all the mental problems imposed on our society by the SAD and I’m also not happy about how they impose their anger, confusion, forgetfulness, and general mental problems on us. Well, it’s unfortunate anyway. I mean it’s just sad to see people like that. I used to be that way before I change my diet and I was sad.


    Thanks for dropping by! I totally agree with you… these days. I used to scoff at it too, and the Internet in general. But now I realize the value is as you say. Social media is opening door and opening minds!


    Thanks a lot! I’m glad you liked it. It was fun to write. I wasn’t even meaning for it to come out that way at first. It just did. That’s the joy of writing. Let me know when you write your article. I’d love to read it!

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